Biography of Guilherme de Almeida (1890-1969)

Poet, essayist, translator, advocate and Brazilian journalist, born in Campinas (São Paulo) on July 24, 1890, and died in São Paulo on July 11, 1969. He/She left an interesting poetic production that, starting from the symbolism, delves into the metric and rhythmic wealth of the Brazilian traditional Lyric to finish adapting academic tone with which, in the beginning, the author was in disagreement. Cited, at times, by his full name of Guilherme de Andrade e Almeida, recalls as a one of the most outstanding voices of twentieth-century Brazilian poetry.

Following the footsteps of his father - the prestigious jurist and Professor of law Estevam de Almeida-, he/she studied laws at the University of Sao Paulo, after having completed his primary and secondary studies in different schools and institutes of their native countryside and the metropolis of São Paulo. Graduated in law and social sciences in 1912, he/she began working as a lawyer in the shadow of his father, until, in 1923, he/she moved to Rio de Janeiro and there embarked on a brilliant journalistic career. Throughout his extensive career in this field, he/she was the editor of the Rotary O Estado de São Paulo, Folha da Manhã, Folha da Noite, Jornal de São Paulo - which was also a founder - and Diario de Sao Paulo.

By that time, the young Guilherme de Almeida had already given out as a writer, first through a critical essay entitled Theatre brésilien (Brazilian Theatre, 1916), written in collaboration with José Oswald de Andrade, and, at the end of a year, thanks to the publication of the poetry book nós (São Paulo, 1917), an excellent debut that placed him squarely in the Symbolist current. Critics greeted with praises the emergence of this new voice in the Brazilian literary scene in the first third of the 20th century, which encouraged the young Almeida to publish other poetic collections of excellent quality, A dança das hours (the dance of the hours, 1919) and O livro das soror Dolorosa (the book of hours of sor Dolorosa hours1920). Both songbooks can see a clear evolution of Guilherme de Almeida to the romantic content, especially in the second one, where, in poems short and purified, characterized by deep simplicity, the romantic tribulations of a nun are exposed.

Consecrated, from then on, as one of the great revelations of Brazilian poetry of the time, the writer of Campinas, which continued its dedication to poetry with their work's lawyer, his journalistic work and the performance of officials in the field of culture and education — combining joined perfectly on artistic and intellectual forums his country. Immersed in them, before his transfer to Rio de Janeiro had time to take active part in the so-called "Modern Art Week" ("week of the art modern"), a spirited creative movement that championed the fight against academicism in the arts in Brazil.

Despite sharing a same innovative effort and a common desire to downplay the academic and official culture with young artists and intellectuals of the modern art week, the truth is that her poetry of Almeida was always closer to the classical academicism which avant-garde rupture. And so, after an attempt to create its own innovative language in the poetry book entitled to that lost America frauta (the flute which I lost, 1924) - work in which, with all its reformist zeal, freedom of language fails to conceal the presence of issues and reasons for entrenched classicism - Campinas poet returned to the traditional channels with three books of poetry published in the same yearMeu (mine, 1925), Raça (race, 1925) and blossom that foi um homem: narcissus (flower which was a man: narcissus, 1925).

In the opinion of the leading scholars of his literary production, Meu is one of the masterpieces of Guilherme de Almeida, taking into account that reflects its authentic and singular vein lyric, oblivious to the fads and trends of the moment and already stripped of the need for voices or gestures typical of his fellow generation. For his part, Raca and blossom that foi um homem: narcissus are offered as overt signs of the evolution of a poet who began cultivating an aesthetic to modernism (well the parnasiana and Symbolist side of us patent), go then in the romantic vein that had influenced so many other modernist poets from Europe and America, and ended up returning to the purity and simplicity of classical verse, with a mastery of rhythm and the metric that has nothing to do with the excesses of musicality of modernism or the transgressors fanfare of the avant-garde.

Formally, his poetry is based on rhythm and prepended to the conceptual importance verbal games and sound effects (one of its maxims is "not to feel, not to think, not to say"). Both in his compositions more avant-garde and innovative as their more traditional poems, Almeida incessantly uses the internal assonances, alliteration, onomatopoeia and other figures of diction that set the pace relentless and sustained. And, as far as the contents are concerned, it is worth emphasizing the presence of love and other fundamental themes in the poetry of any time and place, but also in an intense proclamation of its fervent nationalism (especially its modernist stage patent).

After collecting all his previous poetic production in six volumes published under the title of the whole poetry (all poetry, 1926), Guilherme de Almeida returned to the shelves of bookstores with a new collection of poems within three years. It's a diversidade (simplicity, 1929), work in which Campinas poet recovered its taste by the formal perfection of the verse - in clear opposition to avant-garde experiments of the time-but not return to the formal Parnasianismo of his early compositions.

Man of living social and political concerns in 1932 Guilherme de Almeida took part in le revolution Constitutionalist Sao Paulo, and, for the sake of the extremism of his ideas, he/she suffered persecution and was exiled for a year to Europe. His return to Brazil, he/she continued deploying intense journalistic work, field in which is meant as a pioneer in the practice of film criticism. In addition, cultivated with great success another unique facet of his fruitful artistic personality: the of creator of heraldic shields. Your design obey the official arms of the cities of São Paulo, Petrópolis, Volta Redonda, Londrina, Brasilia--whose anthem also composed when it was inaugurated--, Guaxupé, Caconde, Iacanga and Embu.

If that weren't enough, Guilherme de Almeida shone also as a translator. Great connoisseur of French letters, poured into Portuguese the flowers of evil, of Baudelaire, parallel, Verlaine and between four walls, of Sartre, as well as the Antigone of Sophocles. He/She also translated works by Paul Géraldy and Rabindranath Tagore.

Member of the Brazilian Academy of letters since 1930, the writer of Campinas belonged also to the Academia Paulista de Letras, Instituto Histórico Geografico de São Paulo, to the Seminary of Estudos Galegos of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain) and the Institute of Coimbra (Portugal). In a nationwide contest, readers of the Rotary O Estado de Sao Paulo was elected "Prince of Brazilian poets".

Besides the titles mentioned in above paragraphs, Guilherme de Almeida was the author of the poetry books Messidor (1919), once was a (1922), enchantment (1925), Voce (1931), Poemas escolhidos (1931), case (1938), poetry varia (1947) and all the poetry (1953). And published some essays as Do sentimento nationalist na brasileira (1926) poetry and rhythm, element of expression (1926).